Withdrawal From Grozny Begins

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MOSCOW: Russian soldiers of the 245th motorized rifle regiment began pulling out of Chechnya and heading home to Moscow. But whether the troops will stay out of Chechnya is still very much up in the air. In the past, the Kremlin has announced "withdrawals" which have turned out to be minor troop redeployments and rotations. "There's still a long way to go," says TIME's Sally Donnelly. "About 45,000 Russian troops are still stationed in Chechnya right now. No dramatic peace initiatives will happen before the election, and a lot could still go wrong on the ground." The ingredients for disaster are certainly in place. Doku Zavgayev, the Russian-backed leader of Chechnya, was the possible target of an assassination attempt foiled on Thursday when police disarmed five bombs in Grozny. Gunmen have fired repeatedly on Russian troops this week, wounding four Russian soldiers. -->